Vehicle & Artifact Donations

Impact The Future Of History

Those who gift or loan us vehicles, contextual artifacts, library and archive items, or provide funds toward our operations, education, and collection maintenance. To date, the Gilmore collection consists of over 250 vehicles, 7,500 transportation relation artifacts, and nearly 500,000 library and archival items. Collection items are rotated through exhibits in order to help us tell the story of transportation in America.

Interested in Donating or Lending to the Museum?

To maintain the integrity of our collections, the Gilmore Car Museum has a Collections Review Committee consisting of dedicated people who carefully evaluate each offered item. They meet once each month to review all offers and will consider an object’s overall condition, rarity, originality, authenticity, history, and provenance.

If you are interested in donating to the Gilmore Car Museum’s permanent collection, please click here to view our donation terms and conditions. If your donation is accepted by the Collections Review Committee, your gift will be considered a tax-deductible donation. Due to IRS requirements and non-profit regulations, the Gilmore Car Museum is unable to provide a Museum Membership in exchange for your donation to our collection.

Items will be accepted for the Museum’s Collection if they fall within the scope of the Museum’s Mission and can be managed with available resources. If items fall outside of these parameters, donors may still support the collection and receive recognition by making an unrestricted gift for resale purposes. Proceeds from these sales will go directly to supporting the collection by providing funds to further our preservation efforts.

For information about our policies, procedures, collections review committee, or tax deductible donations, please view our General Information – Collections Policies & Procedures document.

If you wish to loan us an item for display in the Gilmore Car Museum, standard loan agreements are for a minimum of one year. Click here to view our loan terms and conditions.

To submit an item for review, please click one of the links below to download and complete an application:

Collection Application – Vehicles

Collection Application – Motorcycles

Collection Application – Artifacts

Collection Application – Archives

Collection Application – Digital Archives

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact our Museum Curator, Jay Follis.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Museum’s Collection

No, the museum’s budget does not support the purchase of vehicles or other automotive-related items, our collection is comprised of items that are on loan or have been donated. There are several local, regional, and national magazines in which you can list your classic car for sale.  The internet also offers a variety of options for selling your vintage car. We do not have a list of people or organizations that purchase vehicles.

Standard loan agreements will not exceed two years. The loan may be renewed for additional time at the discretion of both parties. It is the obligation of the Gilmore Car Museum to request extension or renewal of the loan. The museum does not sign long-term or “permanent” loans.

No, the museum will not be able to accept any items with restrictions that could prohibit the use, display, or sale of the item.

The Collections and Exhibits Committee will determine if your loan or donation is suitable for our use. The condition of the vehicle or item alone does not determine its acceptance. If your vehicle or item is accepted, museum representatives reserve the last right of refusal upon reviewing any items in person.

Occasionally project vehicles and motorcycles are accepted by our Gilmore Garage Works student/mentorship program. If you have a vehicle that fits this description that you would like to offer to the program, please contact:

Brian Shultz

Gilmore Garage Works Manager

The GILMORE CAR MUSEUM is a 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the state of Michigan and as such you may be able to claim the “fair market value” of your non-cash donation to the museum as a tax deduction. Every donor will receive a donation letter, an official Deed of Gift, and IRS Form 8282 in acknowledgement of their donation. We encourage you to consult your tax adviser and to review the IRS Publication 4303: A Donor’s Guide to Vehicle Donations.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allows taxpayers to deduct the Fair Market Value of your gift to the museum. It is the responsibility of the donor to determine the Fair Market Value.  The IRS requires that any donated item or collection valued over $5,000 be appraised. By law the  Museum cannot provide appraisals for donors as the IRS considers such activity a conflict of interest. We can provide a list of local and national appraisal services upon request. You may also want to obtain IRS Publication 561 – Determining Fair Market Value.

Due to IRS tax deduction restrictions and non-profit regulations, the Gilmore Car Museum is unable to provide any goods or services in exchange for your donation. This includes complimentary memberships, passes, etc.

All vehicles and motorcycles will be displayed with an informational exhibit sign which includes donor/lender information. Signs can be customized to include important details such as “in memory of” or “in honor of” as well.

The first step is to fill out and submit an application for your object, along with recent and detailed photographs of the object in question. Applications are available for vehicles, motorcycles, and artifacts. A member of our Collections and Exhibits staff will be in contact with you soon after your submission to confirm your application. Your application will then be reviewed at our monthly Collections and Exhibits Meeting and a member of our staff will contact you regarding the status of your application.

The committee currently meets on the last Monday of every month. A member of our staff will be in contact regarding the status of your application within 3 business days of the meeting.

Please understand that we cannot accept everything people wish to donate. Adding items to our collection is a serious responsibility. Donations must fulfill the museum’s mission and the Museum must be able to care for, exhibit, and store the items it accepts.

For loans, we require proof of insurance from the vehicle owner and a signed Loan Form, which is provided by the museum. For donations, we require a signed vehicle title in the name of the donor without a lien and a signed Deed of Gift, which is provided by the museum.

It is the museum’s intent to use all donated vehicles, motorcycles, and artifacts for interpretive display and/or educational purposes. However, not all items are able to always be on display and items often rotate and may be stored for some time. In the rare instance that an item is identified as a duplicate item, or non-relevant to the museum’s collection, the item may be sold.

While we would like to display every item donated to us, we cannot guarantee that it will be exhibited. While the museum’s exhibit space spans over 189,000 square feet, telling the vast story of automotive history requires us to often rotate vehicles and display items, meaning that a percentage of the collection is in storage at any given time.

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